- SEIA Congratulates Obama On Re-Election, Praises Administration’s Energy Policy
- Enviro Champions Win On Clean Energy, Protecting Environment & Public Health
- Alt-Fuel & Hybrid Vehicle Sales Soar In October
- Honda Civic Diesel Achieves 65 MPG
- Lincoln Renewable Energy Providing Solar Power To California
- 1,000 MW Of New Solar Power Installed In Germany In September, 6,000 MW Installed In 2012 Already
- Largest Solar Power Neighborhood In Southwest Built In New Orleans
- Researchers Show Feasibility Of Lithium-Metal Free Anode For Lithium-Air Batteries
- SWITCH’s New LED Replacement For Incandescent Light Bulbs
- High Nuclear Power Outages In 2012 (Driven By Global Warming–Fueled Sandy, Flooding, & Repair)
- Great Transition Part II
- World To Heat Up By 11°F On Current Path, Study Finds
Posted: 07 Nov 2012 05:21 PM PST
WASHINGTON, DC — The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) today released the following statement from president and CEO Rhone Resch in reaction to President Barack Obama's re-election for a second term:
"SEIA congratulates President Barack Obama on his re-election. President Obama has been a tremendous supporter of solar energy and we look forward to continuing to work with the Obama Administration over the next four years.
"To date, the Obama Administration has created and supported pro-solar policies that have been vital to the success of the industry. Solar installations and jobs have risen dramatically throughout the U.S, while costs have fallen. Today, the solar industry employs more than 119,000 Americans at 5,600 companies, mostly small businesses, across all 50 states – this is more than double the number of Americans working in solar in 2009.
"Since President Obama took office, the amount of solar powering homes, businesses, and military bases has grown by 400 percent – from 1,100 megawatts in 2008 to more than 5,700 megawatts today. The Administration enacted a policy allowing solar installations for the first time on public lands and set a goal to permit 10 gigawatts of additional renewable energy projects on public lands by the end of 2012, which has been a great driver of this growth. The U.S. now has enough installed solar capacity to power nearly a million households, and 2012 will be another year of record growth for our industry.
"Policy certainty is crucial to continue the growing role of solar in America's energy mix. Stable policy frameworks at the federal and state level, including maintaining and expanding commitments to renewable energy initiatives, spur and leverage private sector investments in the solar industry to meet our nation's future energy needs.
"As we recover from the recession, America needs plentiful and diverse energy resources, including solar, to power our economy. Solar is clean, reliable, and more affordable than ever. Since the beginning of 2011, the average cost of solar panels has dropped more than 50 percent and the cost of a solar electric system has dropped by more than a third, thanks to innovation, entrepreneurship, and strong federal and state policies leveraging private investment.
"More than nine out of 10 voters want the U.S. to develop and use more solar power, and the president understands the importance of solar to the American people. The solar industry looks forward to continuing our productive working relationship with the Obama Administration, the incoming 113th Congress, and state legislatures throughout the country to create smart policies that help power our homes and businesses with domestic energy and create jobs across America."
Posted: 07 Nov 2012 04:59 PM PST
WASHINGTON – On Wednesday, November 7th leading environmental groups stood together at the National Press Club to highlight the numerous environmental champions who were elected to Congress because they strongly support investing in clean energy and protecting the environment and public health safeguards. The groups also released election polling which shows Americans strongly support candidates who will work to move the country forward on energy and climate policies while creating jobs and reducing pollution. The outcome of the election and the polling results show voters didn't buy the millions of dollars worth of ads from dirty polluters.
"This election was supposed to be about wealthy Big Oil-backed special interests spending unprecedented resources to wipe pro-environment candidates off the map. But voters chose a different course – re-electing President Obama and sending environmental champions to Congress to confront the climate crisis and keep our nation moving forward towards a clean energy future," said Gene Karpinski, League of Conservation Voters President.
The new poll by the Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research was conducted nationally November 4th-6th and surveyed 1002 voters in 11 battleground states. Among the topline findings of the poll are:
The poll memo can be found here: Battleground Polling Memo
The 2012 election cycle also saw unprecedented spending from dirty energy groups. According to the Center for American Progress Action Fund:
“We did it. Despite the hundreds of millions of dollars the fossil fuel industry dumped into this election to elect Mitt Romney, we proved that corporations are, in fact, not people. Sierra Club and our 1.4 million members and supporters congratulate President Obama on his hard-fought victory, and we look forward to working with him to build on the historic progress our nation has already achieved as a global clean energy leader.” — Michael Brune, Sierra Club Executive Director.
"The environment won and polluting industries lost; there is no clearer way to state it," said Jamie Rappaport Clark, President of the Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund. "When faced with a choice between a clean energy future where our air, water, lands and wildlife are protected and more of the same dirty energy policies, not even the millions spent by polluting industries could sway Americans to their side. But the biggest winners last night are the generations yet to come as Americans overwhelmingly chose to leave them a cleaner, better world in which to live."
Jeremy Symons, Senior Advisor to National Wildlife Federation Action Fund added, "These elections have opened a window of opportunity to realign environmental politics and revive bipartisan cooperation to tackle the conservation issues facing America. As GOP leaders look for ways to broaden their appeal, we invite them to return to the party's Teddy Roosevelt roots and offer a vision of Republican environmental leadership that connects with the strong conservation values of voters.
“This is the second presidential election in a row where the public has rejected Big Oil’s dirty energy agenda. America is starting to understand that Sandy’s October Surprise will increasingly become less of a surprise, and that it’s time to slash global warming pollution and repower America with clean energy,” said Margie Alt, Executive Director, Environment America.
Posted: 07 Nov 2012 04:44 PM PST
Chris DeMorro of Gas2 writes:
“Is 2012 the year that alternative fuel vehicles finally come into their own? It's starting to look like that after a particularly strong October saw alt-fuel and hybrid car sales set a sales record for the third consecutive month. All told, more than 46,000 alt-fuel vehicles were sold in the U.S. in October, putting sales on track to break 500,000 alt-fuel sales for the year.”
Toyota led with 24,000 units sold (over half of alt-fuel/hybrid sales). Of course, the Prius family carried the load, with 16,774 sales (including 1,900 Prius Plug-In sales).
For the full story, check out: Sales Of Alt-Fuel/Hybrid Vehicles Soar In U.S.
Posted: 07 Nov 2012 11:19 AM PST
It goes on sale in January 2013, but only in Europe. It is equipped with the i-DTEC Earth Dreams diesel engine.
It has a 1.6 litre, 118 HP engine. Despite being only 118 HP, it provides one of the key benefits of diesel engines, which is 221 ft-lbs of torque. It produces about the same amount of horsepower as most Civics, Corollas, and economy cars.
This is a front-wheel-drive vehicle that offers a manual six-speed transmission.
In the United Kingdom, it will cost £19,400, which is approximately $31,000 USD.
As I said in the beginning, diesel-powered vehicles can achieve efficiency comparable to that of gasoline-fueled hybrid electrics, but they have a higher initial cost. The Honda Insight Hybrid starts at $18,500 — although, it is not as efficient; it achieves 41 MPG in cities, and 44 MPG on highways.
Source: Gas 2.0
Posted: 07 Nov 2012 11:11 AM PST
The two installations – the 25-megawatt DC Marathon and the 12.5-megawatt Agincourt — will be home to more than 150,000 solar panels and produce enough electricity to power 14,000 homes annually.
“With its huge solar resources, California represents an enormous opportunity for solar power developers and customers alike,” said Declan Flanagan LRE CEO. “California customers will benefit from the low-cost, fixed-price, clean and native energy these two projects will produce for decades to come.”
“Building on the success of our New Jersey Oak Solar project earlier this year, LRE is now one of the very few large-scale solar companies with a successful track record coast-to-coast,” Flanagan added.
Lincoln Renewable Energy is also looking to get some big wind projects off the ground, if Congress gets back in the saddle in a bipartisan way and extends the wind power Production Tax Credit.
“2013 is shaping up as a busy year for LRE. In addition to $100 million of capex on our solar projects, multiple wind projects are ready to execute power contracts and enter construction if Congress extends the Production Tax Credit as soon as possible,” Flanagan said.
Posted: 07 Nov 2012 05:33 AM PST
“Solar's share in German electricity production rose from 4.1 percent to 6.1 percent, while wind power gained slightly to 8.6 percent from 8.0 percent and biomass accounted for almost 6 per cent,” Renew Economy notes. “Renewables combined accounted for about 26 per cent of Germany's electricity production over the first nine months on 2012.”
According to Germany Energy Blog’s reporting on Germany’s Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG), the optimum annual PV deployment in Germany is between 2.5 GW and 3.5 GW. Exceeding that range results in a decrease in feed-in tariffs for new installations by 2.5% per month.
Germany has now installed more than 30 GW of solar power since embarking on its energy transformation, Energiewende. “A recent GTM Stat of-the-Day showed that Germany installs PV on solar rooftops ten times faster than the U.S.,” Greentech Media noted when discussing the September installation news:
Compared to Germany’s 6.22 GW of solar, solar installations in the U.S. now total around 3.2 GW for 2012 (and remember that the U.S. has several times more people and uses several times more electricity).
The U.S. solar industry is seeing a healthy growth rate of 71%. “But the next couple of years are hard to call,” says Shayle Kann, VP of GTM Research.
“We have a more sober assessment of 2013,” said Kann. He is projecting close to 4 GW in the coming year. But no one is certain what exactly will happen in the solar industry with the the ITC grant sunset. Still, “it’s hard to imagine a down year for 2013,” Kann notes.
Posted: 07 Nov 2012 05:30 AM PST
The new housing, named River Garden Apartments, is designed as a mixed-income development covering eight blocks and around a square mile. It's currently the largest solar neighborhood located in the southeastern US, and the largest solar project in Louisiana, because of the 420 kW of photovoltaics installed on the roofs.
“Installing PV systems on multiple roofs, each with a specific configuration and mounting angle, posed a challenge for the company,” Kathleen Zipp of Solar Power World notes. “Turning to SolarEdge's power optimization system allowed using maximum roof space for optimum power harvesting, even in areas with partial shading or obstructions.”
The system allows the many different arrays to be monitored in real-time by using built-in performance data gathered at the module level. The system then automatically sends web-based alerts on underperforming modules and faults to allow adjustments to be made, increasing the efficiency.
The residents of the development will pay $0.10/kWh for electricity, leading to roughly $50 a month saved on utility bills.
"We overcame many challenging issues, specifically installing modules on multiple roofs and different angles, in a safe manner and with reduced maintenance costs," says Micah Galy of Pontchartrain Mechanical Co. "This revitalized community is now able to sustain itself with reliable energy and will be able to stabilize their energy costs for the long term in a clean and sustainable way."
Image Credit: SPW Solar Edge
Posted: 07 Nov 2012 05:20 AM PST
Two drawbacks are that such batteries have a lower capacity and a lower voltage than normal lithium-air batteries. However, the new battery is safer and has a greater energy density than lithium-ion batteries.
Lithium-air batteries are being sought by multiple organizations, including IBM, due to the fact that they have the potential to store a stunning 11,140 Wh/kg.
This means that a 24 kWh battery (same size as the Nissan Leaf battery) would weigh only 2.1 kg, or 4.7 pounds! A safe and affordable prototype of such a battery would certainly turn EV research upside down, because battery weight is one of the greatest issues facing EVs today. It would translate into longer driving range, higher performance, and higher efficiency.
Notably, the multiple hundreds of pounds that EV batteries usually weigh shorten vehicle range and slow them down, both very significantly. Smaller, more powerful batteries could really boost the EV revolution forward.
Source: Green Car Congress
Posted: 07 Nov 2012 05:09 AM PST
SWITCH’s New LED Replacement to Incandescent Light Bulbs (via Green Building Elements)
I work for a lighting company in Denver as a Lighting and Design Consultant and I cannot tell you how many times in a week that people will tell me they do not want to use a more sustainable light bulb because of two reasons: The bulbs are ugly (Compact Fluorescent Light (CFL) or the 'spiral' kind…
Posted: 07 Nov 2012 04:58 AM PST
Outages at U.S. nuclear power plants so far in 2012 are generally higher than in recent years because of extended forced outages at four nuclear power plants. U.S. nuclear reactor operators typically schedule refueling and maintenance outages during the spring and fall to help ensure that reactors are available to meet higher electric demand levels in the summer and winter. The increase in outages at the end of October came as some nuclear power reactors along the East Coast shut down because of safety concerns from Hurricane Sandy.
In 2012, four nuclear power plants had a total of more than four gigawatts of capacity in extended outages:
Because of the low operational cost of producing power at nuclear facilities, these generators are nearly always dispatched whenever they are available. Outages thus have a direct and significant impact on nuclear power generation as well as the mix of total generation in an electric system.
This article was originally published on the website of the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
Posted: 07 Nov 2012 04:48 AM PST
The Great Transition, Part II: Building a Wind-Centered Economy (via sustainablog)
Editor's note: If you missed part 1 of this series, it's available here. By Lester R. Brown In the race to transition from fossil fuels to renewable sources of energy and avoid runaway climate change, wind has opened a wide lead on both solar and geothermal energy. Solar panels, with a capacity…
Posted: 07 Nov 2012 04:31 AM PST
A new report by PricewaterhouseCoopers finds humanity has its foot on the accelerator as we head toward a cliff. The only hope is very rapid deployment of carbon-free technology starting ASAP.
Here are two more conclusions that can kill — or maybe cause — a hangover:
Despite the many hand-wavers who assert the optimal climate strategy is more research and development, this is yet another independent analysis that makes crystal clear such a do-little approach would be suicidal (see "Study Confirms Optimal Climate Strategy: Deploy, Deploy, Deploy, R&D, Deploy, Deploy, Deploy").
No wonder the report states bluntly:
Leo Johnson, PWC's Partner for Sustainability and Climate Change, rather dryly concludes his letter introducing the report:
Of course, planning for 4°C [7°F] in 2100 — let alone 6°C [11°F] — is tantamount to planning for the end of civilization as we know it (see this review of more than 60 recent studies — "An Illustrated Guide to the Science of Global Warming Impacts: How We Know Inaction Is the Gravest Threat Humanity Faces").
Such a world would likely mean:
These will all be happening simultaneously and getting worse decade after decade. A 2009 NOAA-led study found the worst impacts would be "largely irreversible for 1000 years."
In such a world there would be little prospect for feeding 9 billion people post-2050 given current dietary, economic, and agricultural practices. The word "adaptation" simply doesn't apply in any meaningful sense:
Of course, there is every reason to believe that the earth would just keep getting hotter and hotter:
Steve Easterbrook's post "A first glimpse at model results for the next IPCC assessment" shows that for the scenario where there is 9°F warming by 2100, you get another 7°F warming by 2300. Of course, folks that aren't motivated to avoid the civilization-destroying 9°F by 2100 won't be moved by whatever happens after that.
As I said, humanity has its foot on the accelerator as we head toward a cliff. This climactic climatic cliff makes the much-talked-about fiscal cliff seem like a bump in the road. Yet here we are on election day after a campaign with relentless silence on climate issues. The "Slowly Boiling Brainless Frogs" live — for now.
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